Even the people who spend their days giving back to others need a little help sometimes.
Trista Hopkins, an Army veteran living in Love Field, Texas, is a beloved employee in the cafeteria of Edward H. Cary Middle School. She spends her days serving food to the kids, who refer to her as "Ms. T." And as a single mom of two daughters, she tends to a second job after she leaves the school grounds in order to provide for her family. Luckily a committee behind local nonprofit organization Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas noticed her struggle and decided to offer her family a helping hand, reported WFAA.
On Monday morning, Dennis Luellen from the organization walked into the school cafeteria, surrounded by faculty, students and the media, to inform Hopkins that she was the latest recipient of their Homes 4 Heroes program. She burst into tears as he explained to her that her current house, which had been inherited from her grandfather and was falling apart, would be completely gutted and renovated into a new, three-bedroom home for her family.
"I'm overjoyed," Hopkins told WFAA. "I'm just thankful. Just blessed. All of it. I'm just so happy. Thank you!"
The program, which was introduced to Rebuilding Together to offer support specifically to veterans who need it most, will not only begin construction on the Hopkins home at the end of the month, but also provide the family with a temporary apartment (donated by one of their partners) during the six-week process. Dwell with Dignity, a nonprofit group of interior designers, will also pitch into the project with all furniture, drapery and linen needs.
The meaning of "home" is two-fold for our nation's veterans, making acts of generosity like this all the more powerful.
When Marine Corps Iraq veteran Sgt. Jacinto Bernardo returned home to Suisun City, California, this summer after his service, he was welcomed by incredible renovations on the home he purchased before he left six months earlier. His boot camp friend Jeremy Epperson helped raise $70,000 in donations from the local business community and the Jimmy Doolittle Center simply because he felt Bernardo deserved the help, and had the house ready in time for his homecoming.
Shedding tears of joy, Bernardo was full of gratitude as well as humility, saying it was his comrades who didn't make it home that deserved such generosity, according to Yahoo.